Frequently Asked Questions
It is usually difficult to know if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Asking your general dentist is good reference, but we are the best resource since orthodontics or braces are all we do. Our initial exam is complimentary and hence it only makes sense to get a consultation with us and we will be happy to give necessary recommendations.
Although determining if treatment is necessary is difficult for you to assess, the following may help in prompting you to seek our orthodontic advice. Look at the teeth at any age. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between teeth or overlapping teeth, orthodontic treatment is indicated. Bite all the way down, but keep your lips open so you can the teeth. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? All these are indicators for potential orthodontic treatment. Look at the alignment of the jaws. Does the jaw shift off center during biting down? If you see any misalignment or shifting of the jaw, it suggests a skeletal or jaw bone problem, which requires early orthodontic intervention. These are only some of the obvious symptoms of orthodontic problems.
At what age should an orthodontist see my child? Do all baby teeth have to fall before initiating orthodontic treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by age seven. Hence all baby teeth need not be gone before initiating orthodontic treatment. In fact, early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early preventive/interceptive action and avoid more difficult treatment later. Early treatment also potentially prevents extraction of teeth which is needed in some cases if the teeth get very crowded. Again, since our initial consultation is complimentary, it helps to get a consult as soon as possible.
No, age is not a factor. So long as the gums and bone which support your teeth are healthy one can get orthodontic or braces treatment at any age. About 30% of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number is still growing!
Orthodontic treatment mechanics have advanced technologically over the last few years. Introduction of new high tech wires, smaller braces, innovative accessories and stress of preventive/interceptive treatments make today’s orthodontic treatment fairly comfortable. We do not use any anesthetic injections for any of the procedures. As a rule, braces can cause a little discomfort initially until one gets used to them. Teeth can get a little sore a day after every adjustment appointment but they are not painful. This annoyance can be relieved easily with over-the-counter pain relievers, if needed. Most of our patients do not need to take any pain relievers.
Yes. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause a functional, esthetic or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems from happening and will also provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth.
Phase I or Early Interceptive Treatment usually starts while the child has most of their baby teeth with few of their permanent teeth. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept moderate or severe orthodontic problems early in order to reduce or eliminate them. These problems include jaw bone problems, cross bites and developing crowding. Generally we use expanders, removable appliances, herbst appliance (instead of headgear) and retainers during this phase. These treatment approaches take advantage of the active growth to change the jaw bone structure to either make extra room or address jaw bone discrepancies.
This is another name for orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition at any age. It is more commonly used when a Phase I treatment was not performed.
Absolutely not! But in many cases early intervention helps a lot. We will offer Phase I treatment only if it makes a difference for the future. Otherwise, we keep the patient’s name for a complimentary recall consultation every six months.
In our office, Phase I treatment usually lasts 12-14 months. Phase II or full braces treatment using the Damon System may last from 12 to 16 months. In both situations, we generally see the patients every 10 weeks for their adjustment appointment.
The Damon System of Braces
With the Damon System, we don’t just align the teeth; we create beautiful smiles. NV Orthodontics takes into account a number of factors when first diagnosing your smile. Each individual’s face, profile, and other factors are important in anticipating what they will look like in their 40s, 50s and beyond. The Damon System is designed to deliver results for a lifetime.
Treatment time with the Damon System is typically much faster than with conventional braces. Also, far fewer appointments are required during treatment.
No. In fact, what makes the Damon System work so quickly is that it uses far gentler, more biologically sensible forces than conventional braces. The low-friction nature of the system assures improved tooth position and improved facial harmony.
Very light “shape memory” titanium wires are used that gently guide your teeth to their ideal position. Many people experience very little discomfort.
No any more! Braces are much smaller than they were just a few years ago, and new materials are now used that make them very discreet.
Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, you should review your policy coverage. If you have orthodontic coverage, Damon System braces are covered to the same extent as regular braces.
The Damon System of braces is a new clinically proven treatment approach that aligns your teeth and enhances your facial aesthetics.
As with other types of orthodontic treatment, the cost of Invisalign® depends on the complexity of a patient’s case. The cost is generally slightly more expensive than traditional braces, but find out what your treatment involves by contacting our office for a complementary appointment. We also do not let finances stand in the way of getting a beautiful smile. We offer a number of payment plans that make any treatment fit our patient’s budget.
Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth.
Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.
Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.
Aligners are nearly invisible and look similar to clear tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as “contact lenses for teeth.”
Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign® Aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign® not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
Doctors can use Invisalign to treat a vast majority of patients with fully-erupted molars.